How to Train, Audit, and Evaluate with a Digital Housekeeping Checklist
As the famous athlete Dominique Wilkins once said, “You are only as good as your team”. This means the most important task becomes how to assure that your housekeeping team is full of hardworking, detail oriented, and professional members. The answer is a simple, yet effective, method; a checklist. However, in these modern times, the checklist has received a digital makeover to make it one of the most impactful tools for the modern housekeeping supervisor.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, the digital housekeeping checklist’s true value comes from the ability to enhance property operations management by supporting and evaluating housekeepers. Lists help organize and clarify expectations for trainee housekeepers so that they are better able to reach them. This saves time by preventing miscommunication and easily-avoidable errors. Speaking of time, supervisors can create and edit checklists in the app in an instant, so less time is spent looking at a screen and more time is spent ensuring the highest quality experience for guests.
The use of a digital housekeeping checklist can help supervisors in 4 distinct ways that its pen and paper counterpart never could.
1. Catching and Correcting Mistakes
In the past, doing rounds for inspection was a real undertaking. Supervisors didn’t know which specific rooms had to be inspected so they would have to check with housekeepers in person to get the information. Or supervisors had to monitor the PMS system in the housekeeping office to see if there was a change in a room’s cleanliness status. When a mistake was found during inspection, it took several steps to report, categorize, and remedy. Supervisors had to:
- mark the task as incomplete/incorrect on a printed excel spreadsheet,
- take a photo of the mistake using a digital camera or phone,
- call the relevant housekeeper or maintenance worker to rectify it,
- and finally, manually input the information into an excel spreadsheet for upper management.
This process could be incredibly time consuming, especially if there were multiple mistakes or people to contact. Fortunately, using hotel housekeeping software the process has been automated and expedited into one simple and intuitive feature. Now, supervisors can:
- spot a mistake and choose from multiple statuses on the degree of error,
- add a comment regarding it,
- take a photo on their phone and attach it to a task,
- and assign said task to the appropriate person.
Once a mistake is marked on a room, it immediately changes the status of the room from clean to dirty in the PMS system and in the housekeeping app. Your housekeeper immediately knows they have a pending task to complete, can view comments made about the task, and view where attention needs to be given from the photo. Before, housekeepers had to receive all of this information in person or through their personal phone as they didn’t have any other method of communication. Now, it can all be completed in a fraction of the time and available in the palm of their hand.
2. Training New Housekeepers
Housekeeping can initially seem like an overwhelming list of things to do for new trainees. And they’re right, it is. To help them become accustomed to fully and correctly completing their tasks, managers can share their digital checklists for housekeepers to view. New housekeepers will know exactly what must be done in each room and can tick off tasks as they go to ensure they pass inspection.
Managers can even use digital checklists to effectively evaluate new housekeeping hires. Cleaning mistakes can be quantified by customizing the degree of cleaning to correlate with percentages or points. For example, a perfectly made bed can be worth 5 points. A poorly made bed can be 2 points. At the end of the inspection, managers can clearly see if trainee housekeepers did above or below average in their cleaning, with the average totaling 80 points. If a housekeeper did a below average job in their cleaning but is just shy of their target point count, for example, 76, they can fix their mistakes and managers are authorized to edit the results so that that housekeeper can pass.
3. Improving cleanliness with Analytics
Time is never wasted, just lessons learned. To ensure this is true, housekeeping analytics creates a clear objective view of the type, frequency, and overall number of mistakes that were found during inspections. This is a clear departure from when general managers and supervisors had to compile the data from stacks of spreadsheets. Using in-app analytics can turn the negative of errors into a positive by using the information to address the source of the cleaning mistakes. Interested in learning how to get a full 360-degree view of your property from housekeeping analytics? We took a deep dive into the ways it can completely optimize your daily operations in our article, How Hotel Housekeeping Analytics Can Improve Property Operations.
4. Making Your Checklist, Your Way
Every property is different. Some have bungalows, cabins, apartments, honeymoon suites, and penthouses. It can even be used for public areas, glamping accommodations or tents. Your checklist should reflect the uniqueness of your property. Managers can customize their checklists so every area that housekeepers clean has a comprehensive guide. Particular rooms have a certain selection of amenities and beverages in the minibar so they are listed differently. Housekeepers can now clearly view the specific way each room should be cleaned and guarantee that everything is correctly supplied and accounted for.
Housekeeping only scratches the surface on the capabilities and possibilities which digital checklists can provide. The scope of their functionality can expand into other departments such as front office and maintenance. Used to their full potential, checklists for housekeeping can optimize training sessions, inspections, and ensure HACCP standards. These changes translate into tangible results such as lower expenses, shorter response time on tasks, and more time dedicated towards your guests.
If you would like to see how implementing a digital checklist can streamline your personal daily housekeeping operations, book a demo with our friendly sales team.